San Buenaventura in Ventura, California

Thanks to a reader I saw this at Eponymous Flower:

Pastor Determines Latin Mass “Disturbs” Tourists

Edit: We just received a discouraging letter from a friend about a Latin Mass Community in the Los Angeles, California area. There has been a Mass said for the last 15 years at a Mission of San Buenaventura in Ventura California. The parish resides in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and so is Archbishop Gomez’s responsibility. So far, Archbishop Gomez hasn’t shown any interest in expanding any more Latin Mass communities and it looks like this one will be moved because, it seems to us, that the church is more important as a museum and a tourist attraction than for the purpose which it was intended.

There’s no mention or apology about cultural treasures which have disappeared, or the alterations and damage which may have been done to the Church in the wake of the Second Vatican Council.

Here is part of a letter with contact information:

To the Faithful who attend and defend the Traditional / Extraordinary Form of the Mass

The Extraordinary Form Mass has been said every Sunday for 15 years at Mission San Buenaventura. Now it faces being moved, for reasons that do not make sense. Please find below the text of the notice letter that was issued without discussion or a chance to develop solutions. Included also is a summary of main points discussed at a meeting with the Mission pastor regarding his reasons for wanting to move the Mass elsewhere. The Latin Mass (TLM) community would like to make sure that Archbishop Jose Gomez knows of the situation and quickly brings it to an equitable resolution.

We ask that everyone concerned, please immediately write a short, concise letter to the Archbishop today requesting that the weekly offering of the Extraordinary Form Mass be preserved at the Mission. Please keep a copy for your records and if you would like, submit a copy to Una Voce Ventura for our files (email to or fax to 805-435-1654).
Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles 3424 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90010-2202
Please find attached the following three documents for your reference: Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI Given Motu Propio Letter to Bishops regarding the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum Universae Ecclesia of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
Leo Raab, President Una Voce Ventura

I don’t know what sense there is for someone in, say, Virginia to write.

However, everyone should know what is going on. FWIW

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Athelstan says:

    I don’t know what sense there is for someone in, say, Virginia to write.

    Alas, that’s certainly true: Any letters from outside the diocese are likely to be filed away, unanswered – unless by the recycling truck.

    For those inside the Archdiocese of Los Angeles – or with some tangible connection to the Mission – the more who write (respectfully), the better. My sense is that whereas Cardinal Mahony was actively hostile to the TLM, Archbishop Gomez is merely indifferent. If there is enough of a fuss raised, there is at least the possibility of this being reversed. And if not, then, perhaps, an appeal can be made to Ecclesia Dei…

    We’ve seen this battle fought many times. Often, we lose. But that does not make it less worth fighting. Only by such efforts – and the intervention of the Blessed Mother – have we made the progress we have seen over the last decade.

  2. Bob B. says:

    Athelstan is correct to say the new archbishop seems merely indifferent to virtually everything – just look at LMU and their Lavender Graduations and many of the speakers at the LA Religious Education conference.

  3. Jacob says:

    This is an outrage! Anti-traditionalism anywhere is a threat to tradition everywhere!

  4. gloriainexcelsis says:

    While in the Central Coast area visiting a few years ago, I twice attended the traditional Mass at Mission San Buenaventura, where in the early fifties, the first two of my nine children were baptized – when all was still traditional. The TLM now was at 1:30 p.m. each Sunday, right after a Spanish noon Mass. Pews had been ripped out on the right front side of the church so that drums, guitars, etc. could be accommodated. Nothing had been done to make the area presentable. It looked like an area waiting to be remodeled. As I recall, to prepare for the TLM a couple of men brought out some hammered together wooden “steps” to put in front of the “table” used as an altar, not of course, the original high altar. This was a few years ago, and I’m sure hasn’t changed. The traditional Mass was obviously only tolerated, never promoted. The statues and crucifixes in the vibrant Spanish style were still there at the time, but it was a sad sight overall. The Mission is on the main street in downtown Ventura, right up against the sidewalk. The property around the Mission, except for a small garden area and parking lot are long gone. It is so sad.

  5. AdMajoremDeiGloriam says:

    I’ll happily pen a note. While this isn’t the closest TLM community to me, it’s a possibility. And I know how difficult it can be to find the TLM around here (especially with so much sprawl). I recently spent 3 hours on a bus each way to attend my first High Mass (so worth it!). I can only imagine the challenges to a community forced to find a new home.

    Thanks to everyone in Virginia for their prayers!

  6. Gratias says:

    If people in the Los Angeles Archdiocese wrote Archbishop José Gomez this would be helpful.

    The Pastor of the Mission, Fr. Tom Elewaut, called a meeting after the EF Mass on Epiphany 2013 to discuss the future of the 15-year old stable community attached to the Forma Extraordinaria. The bottom line of the meeting was that they were dismissed and to go elsewhere. Fr. Elewaut is inflexible, so the hope is that Bishop Archbishop Gomez will find a solution such a Chapel in the Camarillo area. Archbishop Gomez is a good pastor that is not hostile to the TLM so by writing him there is a far better chance to remedy this injustice than with his predecessor.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    This was my parish for awhile and I regularly attended the TLM there. I was in the Gregorian Chant choir, as was my son. The director left, and he got a fantastic job in New York. If one is in that diocese, indeed write, as there are many TLM people there.

    However, one can go to St. Thomas Aquinas College for the TLM. Check out their website. I attended one or two there before these were more regular. This information may be outdated. 7:30 A.M. – SATURDAY AND SUNDAY – ST. THOMAS AQUINAS COLLEGE, 10000 N. OJAI RD., OJAI. AT THIS CHAPEL THERE IS ALSO DAILY MASS AT 7:00 A.M. THIS SCHEDULE MAY CHANGE DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS. PLEASE CONTACT THE SCHOOL FOR MORE INFORMATION

  8. Cantor says:

    It’s difficult to question the decision of pastoral authority in the absence of information.

    The writer (and his unavoce website) choose not to include the explanation given by the pastor, merely deriding it as based on “reasons that do not make sense” and headlining the article with a rather antagonistic title. Also stated is that the pastor’s letter was issued “without discussion or a chance to develop solutions” — but apparently in conjunction with a meeting between the Mission pastor and others “regarding his reasons”!

    Much as I appreciate the Extraordinary form of the Mass and the rich traditions of our Church, I fail to see any reason for outrage in this case. Disappointment, perhaps. But unkind words rarely pave a road to compromise.

  9. robkphd says:

    Archbishop Gomez also has a facebook page.
    There was an article posted Sunday on needing to love others who are different. I commented that perhaps this was a relevant issue. I believe I was respectful in asking if the Archbishop would do something. Perhaps others would want to respectfully comment as well.

  10. alanphipps says:

    I have known Fr. Elewaut for almost 20 years, and by all accounts, he is a very solid and holy priest. He is also an effective administrator and runs a tight ship. Having attended the TLM in Ventura on occasion when I lived in Santa Barbara (one of the previous pastors was favorable to the TLM and interested in learning it), I know how well attended and faithful this community is. I would like to know what the reasons for this move are, but I think we should avoid throwing Fr. Elewaut to the wolves completely. I will endeavor to talk to him.

  11. MichaelJ says:

    Cantor, Where are you looking? There is no mention of this at all on the una voce website ( ) or on the parish website(

    That being said, I agree that we have very little information to go on, but we do know two facts:
    1. There has been an Extraordinary Form Mass every Sunday for 15 years at Mission San Buenaventura
    2. Fr. Elewaut has suddenly cancelled this Mass. Andwe know that it is “sudden”, because there is no mention or hint that this was coming in the Church bulletin.

    I cannot think of a single just and charitable explanation why Fr. Elewaut would decide to cancel the Mass. Can you?

  12. James Joseph says:

    I am trying to decide where to live out my days; that is, to buy a house so that I am not under duress of a burdensome travel to get to Mass. One of the places I looked at was near the parish being discussed. I would have been mighty annoyed if I had pulled the trigger on a real-estate transaction only to discover such a travesty.

    Grave injustice doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  13. NescioDomine says:

    This is another dagger in the heart of many Catholics who love their Catholic Faith and the Immemorial Mass. I have experienced first hand the hostilities of Cardinal Mahoney, not only against the Immemorial Mass, but also methodical slow slaughter of our beloved Catechism. I witnessed many children in my local parish, including my own being taught erroneous catechism by non Catholic CCD teachers. In an effort to ameliorate these problems, I volunteered to teach CCD. I attended the mandatory classes that were taught by the LA Archdiocese so that I would properly indoctrinated with the new faith. I was expected to teach their corrected dogmatic beliefs. I kid you not, the supposed truths I was to teach was nothing short of error and absolute heresy. For example: #1 Angels do not exist. #2 Adam and Eve did not exist; Genesis was a story invented because people needed hope!!! I am not making this up. #3 The Pope has spoken “ex cathedra” twice in 1900+ years. #4 One teacher told me that the Immaculate Conception was not the singular privilege of the Blessed Mother to be free from Original Sin at her conception.. This is heresy! (I knew Lutherans who hold more Catholic beliefs than what I was being taught). These are only a very few of the watered down and often erroneous faith that was being taught to the CCD teachers. An entire generation of children grew up attending CCD and being taught garbage. I have family members in Catholic school and have seen their Religion books. Objective Truths are still not taught. It’s no wonder so many have lost and will continue to lose their faith. Archbishop Gomez is not merely indifferent, he is hostile to the Immemorial Mass and to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I am reminded of the words Our Lord spoke: “You are with me or against me”. This is an invitation by Our Lord to do battle for Him.
    The abuses of the liturgy were able to occur because our parents did not fight. The battle is life long. Letter writing is good, it causes a paper trail, documentation of your personal battle for Christ and His Church and holy Mass. Everyone should write to their local ordinary petitioning for the Latin Mass.

  14. fvhale says:

    The loss of a regular EF mass, especially in California, causes me sorrow.
    But, it is possible that the “whole story” is more complicated.
    Here is a local paper interview about the new pastor and his vision for the parish (which is also a historical California mission; some are just run as historical sites by the state).

  15. priests wife says:

    My husband participates in the deanery meetings with this pastor (because of my husband’s bi-ritual faculties) and assures me that he is a solid priest.

    It is always difficult to be the ‘extra’ community at a parish (as we know because we borrow space at two different churches)

    I have two ideas- Santa Clara Chapel in Oxnard or Saint Mary Magdalena Chapel in Camarillo. These are both on Highway 101

    The Unavoce community has been trying to get their own parish and perhaps this is what started the pastor’s change of heart at the mission. Why not encourage all Roman-rite parishes to have an EF Mass instead of forming an exclusive community? Perhaps the OF would become more reverent

  16. Cantor says:

    MichaelJ, you’re right. I misspoke.

    The reference to the letter should point towards the Eponymous Flower website. The parish’s active Latin Mass group seems not to have updated its website in about a year.

    I can think of any number of just and charitable reasons the pastor might feel obligated to cancel a particular Mass. If you remember that he has been 27 years a priest, in a parish with at least 15 liturgies per week, is pastor of a church that is also a California State and National Historic site, oversees a paid staff of at least a dozen, and untold volunteers, all on an annual donations budget of under $400,000, teaches weekly courses in Catholicism, operates a pre-K thru grade 8 school, might or might not be a Latinist… No conceivable reason the man deserves a break?

    This website often brings up the issue of “individual entitlement” and disrespect for Church authority in our modern society. It might be appropriate for those who quote the Pope’s Moto Proprio to be mindful that the pastor does retain the right to say ‘No”. Consider your fifteen-year run a great blessing.

    Rather than organize a national campaign of protest letters, why can’t you organize a car pool to alternative locations in the area?

  17. Athelstan says:

    Hello Bob,

    Athelstan is correct to say the new archbishop seems merely indifferent to virtually everything – just look at LMU and their Lavender Graduations and many of the speakers at the LA Religious Education conference.

    Not *everything* – he has really promoted marian devotion, and he did crack down on Catholics for Equality.

    But it does seem that he’s been captured by ecclesiastical inertia and the chancery in a way all too common of nominally conservative bishops in the U.S. over the last three decades, and that’s been disappointing.

    Still: He might be responsive to a large and respectful appeal on this question in a way that his predecessor was not. I hope it won’t be be necessary to appeal to Ecclesia Dei on this.

  18. Clinton R. says:

    So much for the hope that the arrival of Archbishop Gomez would bring anything resembling traditionalism to the desert known as the Los Angeles Archdiocese. We have a dearth of the TLM, but yet the liturgical dancing is more than welcome at the Religious Education Congress, as well as a host of dissident speakers. I visited the San Buenaventura Mission this past July and was glad to hear the TLM was offered. And now this. The modernists are working overtime to destroy the Catholic faith and replace it was an impostor. Just sad.

  19. Sieber says:

    I attended this meeting. Let’s start off by stipulating that the pastor is a good and holy priest. That said, his assignments for the past 30 years have been in education. He applied to Bishop Curry for a pastorate. This parish became available and he resigned from Bishop Diego High School in Santa Barbara to take this assignment. He is inexperienced as a Pastor.
    His 1st words at the meeting were to please fill up the front seats, he gives A’s to the front row,B’s to the 2nd row, etc. The room was soon overflowing with some 100 present. Comments from the floor expressing dismay came from us ordinary folk, a single mom, attorneys, professors and a member of the Pontifical Academy of Science. On earlier occasions this pastor has stated loudly and emphatically that, “I am a Novus Ordo priest .” He has a concept of how the mission should be. He said the mission is “ill suited” for the Latin rite. His masses would be in English and Spanish and for the Triduum he would”Throw in some Latin music.”
    A number of this assembly took on the pastor ‘s objections point by point quoting Summorum Pontificum and Ecclesiae universae. The pastor made a point of changes since VII. One man pointed out that VII has nothing to do with it. That we have one rite in two forms and that this church has known the extraordinary form as the only rite offered since its founding over 200 years ago except for the period from 1965 to 1998.
    The pastor objected to the possibility of damage to the floor by moving the presider’s chair.
    Solution: We would provide rubber castors.
    The portable platform may damage the floor.
    It hasn’t in 15 years. Several suggested a solution they have seen back East. Put the N.O. altar on a track so it could be slid back & forth to the high altar. A parishioner volunteered to do this at no cost.
    Each objection was met by a solution. The pastor became progressively frustrated and annoyed to the point where became obstreperous actually shouting red faced that he would walk out of the meeting. At this point his parish administrator, a Mr. Kole took over while the pastor just stared at the floor. Mr. Kole stated that the point of the meeting was to give us the Pastor’s decision (on a question none knew about). The Pastor’s decision is final. It was basically, after 15 years, “don’t let the gate hit you on your way out.”
    Those who prefer the N.O. will like to know that the organ doesn’t work, but the new electronic key board sits just outside the currently extant communion rail.

  20. bernadette says:

    I have been told by someone who seems pretty knowledgeable about the EF Mass situation in the archdiocese of L.A. that Archbishop Gomez has given the FSSP an open invitation to come to Los Angeles. This would be wonderful if true.
    If you are in driving distance please come to SS. Peter and Paul in Wilmington. We have a 6:30 AM EF Mass on Sunday mornings with choir. The third Sunday the Mass is at 9:30 and is a High Mass. The church is beautiful and very traditional with the altar rail still in place.

  21. harrythepilgrim says:

    Archbishop Gomez does not answer mail, either from priests or from laymen.

  22. Sieber says:

    I should point out that people come from three counties to this Mass. From Palos Verdes on the South to Santa Barbara on the North and from the West, the Simi and San Fernando Valleys. For this reason 6 & 7:00 A.M. Masses are impractical. The St. Mary Magdalen Chapel and St. Paschal Baylon Churches add 20 t0 30 minutes to an already length drive for so many. St. Paschal’s has no communion rail nor does the St. Mary Magdelen Chapel since it was “renovated” some 14 or 15 years ago.

  23. Athelstan says:

    Hello Cantor,

    Rather than organize a national campaign of protest letters, why can’t you organize a car pool to alternative locations in the area?

    That’s probably what will happen now, but…bear in mind that there just are *not* many alternative locations in the area. San Buenaventura was one of only *three* regular (weekly, Sunday obligation) authorized TLM’s in a vast, sprawling archdiocese that’s the largest in the Western hemisphere (two others are SSPX). It’s a long drive to the other two for most of these congregants.

    Perhaps for good reasons unknown to us this mass cannot be continued as before. But the pastor should also be open to seeing if there is another way to provide it going forward if the group provides the support. And if he can’t, then surely the Archbishop should be so willing (and indeed Summorum Pontificum insists that he should be). It should not be that hard to find a qualified priest and a time slot (however less than ideal) at a church or chapel in that immediate area.

  24. Athelstan says:

    Hello Bernadette,

    I have been told by someone who seems pretty knowledgeable about the EF Mass situation in the archdiocese of L.A. that Archbishop Gomez has given the FSSP an open invitation to come to Los Angeles. This would be wonderful if true.

    If that is really true, the FSSP should run, not walk, to set up a permanent location in Los Angeles. The FSSP can’t be everywhere, and they have focused their efforts of late on internal growth and consolidation, but they really can’t afford to turn down a genuine offer to set up shop in the largest archdiocese in the country, if it is remotely feasible.

  25. tonyfernandez says:

    I think that Alhambra is not too far away from here, and they have an EF High Mass every Sunday. That’s probably your best bet if the EF at this parish is going away.

    But it’s ridiculous that in this huge city of Los Angeles that we would have to drive so far to attend an EF Mass. Last year I was driving about half an hour to get to this Mass, as opposed to the parish 5 minutes away that was built before Vatican II and has everything it needs for a TLM except for an altar rail. They even had a great choir. Oh well, continue to pray for peace!

  26. MichaelJ says:

    Cantor, are you sure that Fr. Elewaut is the Priest offering the Mass in the Extraordinary form? It sounded otherwise.

  27. MichaelJ says:

    From the news article, dated Nov. 3, 2011, cited by fvhale above:

    “He [Father Elewaut ] left his position as principal at Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara in February to take over the parish in Ventura. “

  28. robkphd says:

    tonyfernandez – Alhambra is over an hour drive from Ventura – LA diocese is HUGE. LA should probably be broken into two or three diocese.

  29. New Sister says:

    I have sponsored a convert in this area and am godmother to her son. This is not only the unique TLM in driving distance for these new Catholics, but the only Mass around free of liturgical weirdness. The NO parishes in Ventura are in bad shape – e.g., tabernacles moved out of the sanctuary to alcoves next to the toilets; priests who ask the laity to hold hands around the altar during the Consecration; really really bad music… let us all take time to write the Abp & pastor on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Ventura County.

  30. Stumbler but trying says:

    @ tonyfernandez…what parish do you speak of? I live in the San Gabriel area and am wondering where. Is it St. Therese parish, on Carmelite row? Or are you referring to All Souls? (I doubt it though but then again, who knows)
    I know that the Carmelite Sisters used to host a TLM every other Sunday in their chapel in Duarte. St. Joesph’s Chapel to be exact on the grounds of what was once Santa Theresita Hospital.
    All of you who venture herein, please pray for us Angelenos who have endured much and for a long time and yet still hope for the beauty of true reverence and worship at Mass. I have posted already about some of the abuses I find very distracting and upsetting…I’m still praying though. <3

  31. robkphd says:

    Stumbler but trying – you have old information. St. Therese has a Latin High Mass at 1 PM on Sundays. You can check out their website at:

  32. tonyfernandez says:

    Stumbler, yes St. Therese hosts an EF High Mass every Sunday. I go there about once a month. Most of the time I’m suffering through abuse after abuse, which is why I’ve tried to go there more often. The problem for me is that the abuses distract me from the sacrifice that occurs during Mass, and so it’s not that I see the EF as more valid than the OF, it’s just that I don’t get distracted there.

  33. Stumbler but trying says:

    @ tonyfernandez and robkphd:
    Thanks for confirming what I thought might be correct about St. Therese parish. I will try and attend one of their Sunday masses. I am not saying one is better than the other either but I am tired of being distracted. I want solace and beauty and joy in the celebration of holy Mass and if I gotta drive a bit to find that respite, so be it. I can still drive to other parishes where they still celebrate Mass with reverence but no longer the parishes of my childhood which is sad.
    Anyway, thanks again and may God bless us all!

  34. Yes, St Therese does offer a high Mass….the drive from Alhambra to Ventura is a good hour (sometimes 2) depending on how bad traffic through Hollywood is on the 101…It would not be a feasible alternative for the TLM community in Ventura to join in Alhambra. The traffic is an absolute nightmare for those areas.

    Archbishop Gomez to be fair does have a ton on his plate….he has been promoting Marian devotion, and he did reign in some abuses that were going on at my territorial parish when I do stay in Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I really think the best course of action for this situation is not not go about and tell the archbishop how to do his job, but rather to calmly explain the situation. (His Excellency should now know about the traffic situation in the archdiocese)…Something tells me there are a few pieces missing to the puzzle.

  35. pfreddys says:

    Actually, “tourists” should chime in. I’m from NJ and while on a business trip I attended the TLM there over a decade ago. Besides the church inspiring devotion with a style slightly different from what I am used to to, it had the secular effect on this born and bred New Yorker of truely appreciating the history of California.

  36. mwa says:

    As supertradmum noted, Thomas Aquinas College (no St. at the beginning) does have an E.F. everyday, although note for the school year the Sat. and Sun. time is 7:15am, not 7:30. It is an early hour for those who are travelling some distance, but it is not very far from Ventura, about 15-20 mins. using the 126.

  37. Central Valley says:

    this sounds like something out of the PlayBook from the Diocese of Fresno. The FSSP has offered priest to the Diocese of Fresno in the past only to be declined but yet the dioces will complain about a lack of priest to serve those attach to the extraordinary form. if only the Archdiocese of Los Angeles would welcome the fraternity along with the Diocese of Fresno all one has to do is look at the success of Saint Anne’s in San Diego and Saint Stephens in Sacramento and locations that come from these traditional parish is.

  38. Cantor says:

    Our diocese had but one Extraordinary Form Mass per month, on First Friday at 6:00 p.m., until this month. Starting this past week, it will be celebrated every Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Considering that our most distant parish is 265 miles away (for those folks, a five-hour drive each way on good days) this might make it occasionally available to all. Somewhat ironic that the traditional Mass is on a Saturday, but it’s an improvement.

  39. Denis says:

    It seems appropriate for the Usus Antiquior to be celebrated at a Church that was built for the traditional form. Since necromancy is forbidden we’ll never know, but I wonder what the holy men associated with that parish–Bonaventura, Junipero Serra–would say about the novus ordo.

  40. LiberChant says:

    @Cantor, thank you, Fr. Tom really does deserve a break here and there is far more to this situation than the post on EponymousFlower lets on. First off, none of the letter that the Pastor wrote was included in the “Part of the letter” above. There was absolutely no talk of canceling the EF Mass at the Mission, only relocating with the assistance of the Pastor. Nothing is moving without a home to move to and there are a couple excellent options available nearby. There are some solid reasons for relocating the EF Mass from the Mission, many more than are appropriate for a combox.

    I do know that as a person who attends this Mass at the Mission regularly, this move is for the better of the whole community, North and South of Ventura County. I also know that slamming a Pastor for doing what is best for his Parish is not quite Christian. The Mission right now is in the best repair I have ever seen thanks to his work. Many of the liturgical appointments are being restored to their original condition, the relics are in full display and the few century old baptismal font is actually being used. We should all chant a Te Deum (solemn please!) for his work, and be additionally thankful that this Mission is a vibrant Parish as many are not.

  41. alanphipps says:


    Thank you for filling in some details here. You are quite right.

  42. Gratias says:

    Now posted in the Una Voce Ventura website under “news”. Please read all about the expulsion of the Latin Mass from the Mission, which was the final foundation by Blessed Junipero Serra:

    Extraordinary Form Latin Mass at Mission San Buenaventura Set to End After 15 Years

    January 23, 2013
    On December 8, 2012, Rev. Thomas Elewaut, the recently assigned pastor at Mission San Buenaventura informed, via a letter, the parishioners who attend the Extraordinary Form 1:30 p.m. Traditional Latin Mass that he planned to see the Mass that has been held at the Mission for more than15 years ended and that he desired that his parishioners attached to this venerable form of the Mass find a new parish where it might be offered. He also informed these parishioners that he will not allow the Triduum in the Extraordinary Form, contrary to the allowance for just this in Universae Ecclesia and the past history of providing for a Triduum in the Extraordinary Form. It is Una Voce Ventura’s position that the reasons given can be easily addressed and are insufficient to justify the ending of the Mass, and are contrary to the intent of Summorum Pontificum. (See ADDENDUM for the text of Father Elewaut’s December 8, 2012, letter)

    On January 6, 2013 he publicly invited all interested parishioners to a meeting where he read the December 8, 2012 letter and answered questions. No opportunity was given to the parishioners to try to remedy or mitigate the concerns Fr. Elewaut expressed in his letter. Despite receiving a point by point reply to his concerns during this meeting, Fr. Elewaut told the parishioners that his decision “is a fait accompli.” The following was printed in the January 20, 2013 parish bulletin.

    From the Desk of Father Tom:
    “Two weeks ago I met with Faithful members of the Extraordinary Form Latin Mass to request that we find an alternative parish to host this Mass. This request is based on my observation that both the Mission parish and the Latin Mass would be better served at another location given that liturgical appointments in the sanctuary (some of which are historical) must be moved each week and visitors have limited to access to the Mission on Sunday afternoons. Many of our visitors have traveled from throughout the state to complete the required fourth grade Mission project. Understandably, relocation has caused some anguish among Faithful members of the Extraordinary Form Latin Mass. It may take several weeks if not months to find a suitable home for this Mass.”

    Subsequent to these events, Una Voce Ventura and concerned parishioners that attend the Extraordinary Form Mass have met several times to review options and have engaged in positive conversations with several parishes where the EF parishioners would be welcome. We are awaiting a sign of approval from his Excellency Archbishop Gomez so that we might assist the parishioners of Mission San Buenaventura in establishing a stable home for the Extraordinary Form Mass. While all are saddened and understandably upset to see the Extraordinary Form Mass set to end for now at Mission San Buenaventura, Una Voce Ventura is encouraged that several other parishes are interested in offering the Extraordinary Form Mass and we stand ready to help with what resources we have available.

    It is a foundational goal and a recurrent prayer of our chapter that “through the intercession of St. Bonaventure and Blessed Padre Serra, the peace, order, and beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass may be restored to our churches.” Please pray for prudence, patience, charity and a speedy and suitable resolution to this regrettable situation.

    Una Voce Ventura

    ADDENDUM: TEXT of Father Elewaut’s December 8, 2012 Letter.
    • • •
    December 8, 2012

    Mark Munoz
    (Coordinator, Extraordinary Form Latin Mass)
    [address redacted for privacy as requested]

    Dear Mark and Parishioners of the Extraordinary Form Mass,

    Greetings to all of you as brothers and sisters in Christ!

    Given that Father Gregory Heidenblut, OSA, will be moving to a new ministry in January, we are in a season of transitions regarding the Extraordinary Form Latin Mass at San Buenaventura Mission. Fr. Joseph Illo is new to our area and Fr. Michael Carcerano now resides in Redondo Beach.

    Since March 2011, I have observed the role that the community of the Extraordinary Form Latin Mass has at San Buenaventura Mission. I have a growing concern about the appropriateness of the Mission hosting the Extraordinary Form Mass given the constraints of the Mission architecture and the wear and tear of the historical liturgical appointments.

    The Mission sanctuary is rather confined and most all liturgical furnishings and decorations have to be altered for every Extraordinary Form Mass. This has become an unnecessary strain on the historical furnishings and parish liturgical life. Secondly, the Mission is a place of pilgrimage and tourist visitation which is hindered by the additional Sunday Mass; visitors often have a limited opportunity to tour the Mission and have expressed reservation on touring the church during Holy Mass.

    For this reason I have communicated to Mark Munoz earlier this year in compliance with liturgical guidelines, that the Mission will hold only one Holy Thursday Mass and one Easter Vigil in the future. Also, it is desirable that we explore options for the Extraordinary Form Latin Mass to be relocated perhaps at either Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula or possibly St. Pascal Baylon Church in Thousand Oaks or at another suitable location that can better accommodate the liturgical needs of an Extraordinary Form Mass.

    The goal is that the transition for a new location for the weekly Extraordinary Mass will be in place by the beginning of Lent, 2013. Please let me know how I may support and accommodate this transition goal.


    Rev. Thomas J. Elewaut

    cc Reverend Gregory Heidenblut, OSA
    Reverend Michael Carcerano
    Reverend Joseph Illo

  43. UnaVoceVentura says:

    Future of the Extraordinary Form Latin Mass at the Mission. News update posted on the Una Voce Ventura website (

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